When they first debuted they received a lot of backlash from fans of other SM groups due to dating rumors between a couple of the SNSD members and TVXQ and Super Junior members. In 2008 this backlash finally climaxed in the what is widely considered the biggest bullying event in kpop; a black-out protest at one of K-pop's biggest annual events, 'Dream Concert'. During their performance, no one in the audience made noise and turned off their lightsticks meaning the stadium was mostly silent and dark which earned it the name 'Black Ocean'.
After the Black Ocean SNSD took a hiatus for a year before returning with a new single, Gee. The song immediately became a hit among the public and set a record for being number one on KBS's music show Music Bank for nine consecutive weeks and later became known as the 'Song of the Decade'
Shortly afterwards the group released Genie which solidified their position as the number one girl group in South Korea.
In 2011 the group entered the Japanese music industry with Japanese versions of Gee and Genie and their Japanese debut album 'Girls' Generation'.
Several months later, the group set their sights on America and made their U.S debut with 'The Boys'.
In 2013 Girls' Generation won video of the year at the first Youtube Music Awards, beating out internationally known artists such as Justin Bieber, One Direction and Miley Cyrus.
On the 30th September 2014, Jessica made an announcement on weibo and the Blanc & Eclare website that she was no longer a member of the group.
"Despite my hard work and dedication for the team, I was given a notice to leave the team from the company."
In April 2015, the group released their first song without Jessica, Catch Me If You Can, which was released in Korean and Japanese. Their first album with the new lineup, Lion Heart, was released in August 2015. They also filmed 'Channel Girls' Generation', their first reality show since 'Girls' Generation and the Dangerous Boys' in 2011.
In November of 2015, Girls' Generation became the first Korean Girl Group to ever hold a concert in Japan's Tokyo Dome as well as the first kpop girl group to hold four concert tours.
In 2017, SM announced that Tiffany, Sooyoung and Seohyun had not resigned their contracts with the company but that the group was not disbanding. Both the remaining members as well as the departing ones have since expressed their desires to continue making music as 8 members.